Could stare at this 1907 view of Main Street all day!
First of all, the first pic was taken from the top of the Pacific Electric Building on the corner of 6th and Main. Built two years before this photo was taken, the building was the hub for Pacific Electric's network that was growing enormously at this point in time.
Now to point out just a few things...
One of the first things that actually draws my attention in slide one is the tower of the old "Sandstone Courthouse" as it was known off in the distance at upper left center. Behind it and to the left are the hills of Elysian Park and the snow-capped San Gabriels are in the background.
The painted ads on the buildings are just so cool. I don't know anything about G.A. Thiele or H. Raphael, but I do know that the Hotel Rosslyn seen here predates the two buildings associated with the name today (the ones with the great signs on their roofs). What is known as the New Rosslyn was built next door for a million dollars seven years after this pic in 1914, while the annex across the street came along in 1923.
In slide two just start by checking out all the action on Main Street - the streetcars, the horses and carriages, the early automobiles, the people, so much going on!
The hills off in the distance are today's Lincoln and Montecito Heights. The Arroyo Seco is where the hills lower towards the left (you can see the valley when you scroll between the two pics).
Focusing at the top of Main Street - the tower of the Baker Block can just be seen. Originally built in the 1870s, it was one of the most stunning buildings LA ever had - and of course it was torn down in the 1940s for freeway construction.
The other beautiful tower in view (closer and more to the right) belongs to no other than Vibiana. Still with Us after 147 years!
The Hotel Leonide in the foreground was built as a budget hotel in 1905 and is also still with us and is a run by a non-profit named Chrysalis.
Photo from the USC Archives.